Guardian

Counter-terror idea by Simon Jenkins in response to Nairobi: Stop building malls.


h/t Nick

Kenyan security personnel are still engaged in an operation against terror operatives from al-Shabaab (an Islamist group fighting to make Somalia an Islamist theocracy) two days after they brutally murdered at least 62 people at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s veteran journalist Simon Jenkins reflected on the appropriate response to this latest terrorist atrocity.

simon

Here are the highlights from his Sept. 23 ‘Comment is Free’ capitulation:

It’s our fault:

Sometimes we should stop and ask why terrorists commit outrages like that in a Nairobi shopping mall. The answer is the west always over-reacts to big, sensational gestures of extreme violence.

By deploying violence against a succession of Muslim states, the world’s leading powers have made their business its business and invited retaliation.

We should avoid large gatherings of any kind:

There is nothing anyone can do to prevent suicide bombers hitting civilian populations. The slaughter of Christians in Peshawar this weekend showed that wherever crowds gather they are vulnerable to any group with a brainwashed youth and a bomb. It might be sensible to discourage like-minded crowds from gathering in one place, be they co-religionists or party faithful or merely the wealthy.

Stop building large buildings and shopping malls:

The modern urban obsession with celebrity buildings and high-profile events offers too many publicity-rich targets. A World Trade Centre, a Mumbai hotel, a Boston marathon, a Nairobi shopping mall are all enticing to extremists. Defending them is near impossible. Better at least not to create them. A shopping mall not only wipes out shopping streets, it makes a perfect terrorist fortress, near impossible to assault.

Whilst the passage about the folly of building malls is indeed risible, Jenkins’ surrender manifesto also provides some insight into the Guardian’s failure to empathize with Israel, a state continually targeted by radical Islamists who use terror in an attempt to bring the state to its knees.  

Israel’s large measure of success in allowing its citizens to live normal lives, despite the constant threat of rockets, sniper fire and suicide bombs, is a testament to the collective decision to never bow down to terror’s relentless onslaughts – fortitude and courage in a democracy under siege that Simon Jenkins evidently cannot fathom.  

43 replies »

  1. So basically he is saying not to live our daily lives, isn’t he giving the terrorist exactly what they want, giving them victory

    • The terrorists:
      We hate you cause you have better lives and we can’t climb to yours so we’ll bring you down to ours.

      Simon Jenkins:
      Just point to the stairs and we’ll hurry along. Is it okay if I’ll bring my warm watter bottle along?

  2. Rumor has it that the mall was designed by Israelis. Terrrorists will use any and all excuses. They seek out crowded sooks, an ancient Arab cultural artifact, to bomb because there are Jews there. I’m not sure that most of our efforts in the direction of modernity are fruitful or well advised, but ultimately they cannot and should not be shaped by violent, retrograde savages.

  3. OMG Simon Jenkins, do you really expect any self respecting person to take you seriously? Are you really advocating total capitulation? Thats what we Jews call the Ghetto mentality, a mindset in which an entire people hide from reality so as not to upset detractors. Already we’re more afraid than at the height of South African Aparatheid to speak our minds on the UK about who exactly is responsible for 99.9999% of terrorist activity throughout the world, now we must also curtail our freedom to suit those terrorists, rather than stand tall and say NO to those who wish the world to embrace the backward 1400 year old religion of peace.

    Well you can if you want to Simon Jenkins, but I for one will not regress into a prehistoric level of civilisation and I will not be intimidated by mysoginistic retrograde threats.

    • What did you expect?
      All of a sudden they’re part of the equation and not jusr a bystander preaching to people who suffer terrorism.

  4. What a fool! How it has not occurred to him that it’s not just that people crowd in places, the goal of terrorists, as the name suggests, is to bring terror into people’s lives. If people don’t congregate anywhere, they’ll continue to try to strike by doing things like poisoning water supplies. If that happens, would Jenkins advocate not drinking any water?

  5. It is also an argument against Israel. Which puts a large number of Jews into one place. Clearly a provocation for terrorists (sorry militant gunmen)

  6. “A World Trade Centre, a Mumbai hotel, a Boston marathon, a Nairobi shopping mall are all enticing to extremists. Defending them is near impossible. Better at least not to create them.”
    How about mosques? Seems like there’s an explosion (pardon the expression) of building when it comes to mosques. Maybe it would be better not to create them in consideration of Islamophobia which I’ve been assured is epidemic.

    • @ Jeff
      You wrote: ‘Maybe it would be better not to create them (Mosques) in consideration of Islamophobia which I’ve been assured is epidemic.’

      Who destroys Mosques with explosives and armed attacks? Who kills Muslims at prayer in Mosques? Why, Muslims, of course! Tell you what, though, let’s do away with Al Qur’an, then most of the violence in the world would eventually come to an end. (By ‘do away’, I mean that we should expose its man-made origins.)

      • L.A:
        “let’s do away with Al Qur’an, then most of the violence in the world would eventually come to an end.”

        Well, one could argue the exact opposite is true.
        Most violence will come to an end when all humanity is but dead.

        I’d like to remind you of tiny bit of what happened this past 2 weeks in a little country on the Med.
        http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4433082,00.html

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4430137,00.html

        http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4431969,00.html

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4431769,00.html

        http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4431625,00.html

        and of course:
        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4431229,00.html

        none of this has anything to do with religion.
        None of it involves the 2 political murders of our soldiers (1 in hebron by a simper and 1 to be used as an exchange to free a jailed Palestinian brother of the murderer).

        None of it includes deaths of Palestinian or fire incidents.
        None of it includes violence on the road which killed a fair amount in the past 2 weeks including a couple on their honeymoon.

        And incase you, like me, don’t limit violence to humans only, here’s another lovely piece about how wonderful the human race is:

        http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4433115,00.html

        This is a report about the deaths of 81 elephants killed by poisoning by 9 poachers in Zim.
        Zim, last time I checked is mainly Christian.
        Even if you take 9/11 victims into account the vast majority of victims of Muslim violence are Muslims.
        eliminating them will still make the earth very very hostile.
        Good day.

        • You are right Itsik, eliminating Islam would not stop violence in the world. I would be happier if Islam did not exist, but then there is Northern Ireland, gun massacres in the US, drug wars in Mexico and South America, the mafia and Russian mafia, paedophiles, rapists – there is no end to the list – Islam is maybe the worst of the problems but the others are all very bad too. The problem is with many people losing their sense of decency and morality, maybe something to do with a lack of moderate religious principles exacerbated by the permissive propaganda of the media, officialdom that is gagged by political correctness from discerning good from bad and an endless diet of brutal violence disguised as entertainment. The situation would be bad enough without the addition of radical islamists imported into our own country, without our consent, and tolerated, even protected by the system.

      • let’s do away with Al Qur’an, then most of the violence in the world would eventually come to an end. (By ‘do away’, I mean that we should expose its man-made origins.)

        And we should likewise expose the Tanakh and the New Testament as being man-made?
        (i.e. the words of God therein are made up?)

        Surely the 6 people who agreed with LA would agree?

        • @ prezelberg

          You don’t have to ‘expose’ the fact that the Bible and the Tanakh is man-made. We all know that! Haven’t you heard of The Enlightenment and The Haskala?

          Islam, and only Islam, believes its holy book, Al Qur’an, is composed of Allah’s actual words. Islam is long overdue an equivalent of The Enlightenment or The Haskala. Islam is stuck in the 7th Century. Everyone else has moved on.

        • “And we should likewise expose the Tanakh and the New Testament as being man-made?”

          pretzelberg you are a bit late.
          “The New Testament documents were all written some twenty to seventy years after the public ministry of Jesus Christ. They were commonly accepted in the early Church as having been written under the authority of the apostles.”

            • pretzelberg you asked two questions, one of which I answered.

              The second question, which you now claim was your ‘actual point’, was it a question or a poor and unintelligible attempt at making a point?
              I did not answer your second question as a) it is a separate question and b) more to do with faith or lack of it.

  7. If there were any serious doubts about Simon Jenkins as a political commentator, this article has just confirmed it – possibly for the rest of his career on anything he says about anything in future. He has obviously thought long and hard about his theories and should not be let off the hook so easily in future.

  8. British convertits, lost in social spaces without orientation and values
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2429784/Kenya-mall-shooting-Has-British-White-Widow-Samantha-Lewthwaite-killed-Nairobi-siege.html
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/9926837/White-widow-Samantha-Lewthwaite-was-plotting-to-free-Jermaine-Grant.html

    E§ducation of values of supremacy and orientation by hate preachers
    http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/alan-johnson/skilled-recruiters-likely-shaped-bostons-terrorists

    Orientation and targeting
    The center is owned by Israelis and renowned as a place where many Israelis hang out,” Lopez told Maariv. “Four of the restaurants there are also owned by Israelis and many Israelis are employed in the place. They were our main concern—but we also support our Kenyan friends and ready to assist in whichever way they ask.”

    Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/3-israelis-escape-as-nairobi-shopping-center-attack-continues/2013/09/22/

    In comes Jenkins and Al Guardian
    The shopping centers are responsible for being easy targets, not the terorists, they only are victims of the circumstances like consum capitalism and western over reactions to terror. and bear no responsibility neither individual nor collective, the responsibility lies within the structural repression by surely western business, white, male, colonialist, capitalist and racist, presumably zionist thoughts and words as a typical postcolonial queer deconstructivist activist would know, or a reborn stalinist. (Why does Zizek come to mind?)

    What does Jenkins advocate?
    Terror is normal, western over-reaction is not – strange, but quite normal for an Al Guardian writer even when being a conservative, something you have to have in common at the bottom line
    And doesn`t this fit?
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/02/west-attack-syria-idiotic-gesture
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/19/glenn-greenwald-journalism-david-miranda-detention
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simon-jenkins/the-wests-itch-to-meddle-_b_818228.html

  9. “The modern urban obsession with celebrity buildings..”

    Perhaps Sir Simon Jenkins would like to lead by example and close down that well known ‘celebrity building’ inside which a lot of people gather for no useful purpose, where “The Guardian” is produced?

  10. By deploying violence against a succession of Muslim states, the world’s leading powers have made their business its business and invited retaliation.

    This “retaliation” occurred in Kenya, not the west!

    An indefensible article from start to finish. And it got the first response it deserved (from Keo2008).
    If the name at the top had been Terry Jones* I’d have known it was satire.

    * (i.e. the Python not the pastor)

  11. Simon Jenkins:

    “It might be sensible to discourage like-minded crowds from gathering in one place, be they co-religionists or party faithful or merely the wealthy.”

    Did he just outright came against the Hajj?
    This, in itself, is Islamophobic since the Hajj is something Muslims must participate in, once in their lives and whenever possible.

    • I think him and Nabila Ramdani should get together and analyse this on CIF leaving plenty of room for comments.

  12. I was just listening to Radio 4 World at One. The inhuman actions of these monsters, killing little children, cannot be condemned enough! These fatuous and cynical comments by Simon Jenkins are so cold and calculating, even though ridiculous. There is just not enough serious condemnation of these evil, monstrous morons who inflict such incalculable harm on innocents. It is a pity their religious beliefs are pathetic nonsense because it would be very satisfying to think of them mercilessly tormented in hell forever and forever. If Allah was great he would instantly crush them under his foot.

  13. Yes, maybe we should stop building malls. Maybe we should stop building railway stations, bus termini, football stadia…..maybe we should close down our motorways….maybe we should hide away our places of religious worship…maybe we should hide away ourselves. Maybe we should stop breathing!

  14. The world leading liberal voice by publishing Jenkins’ amazingly cretinous opus has successfully proved that the total moral and intellectual degradation of the so called British left is continuing, and when one thinks that it couldn’t be worse there is a new low.
    It might be sensible to discourage like-minded crowds from gathering in one place,
    Let’s ban soccer games, any sport events, theaters, movies, and especially trade-union and party meetings (including the meeting of the Guardian editorial staff). Parliaments could to continue working – the representatives are not “like minded” people. (with the exception of the subject of their wages..)

  15. I wonder if Simon Jenkins is gathered in one place? Sounds like he’s all over the place. I’ll bet his nickname at school was Simple Simon!